I am signed up for a 24 hour endurance run on Saturday. It is one of the one mile loop affairs which provides a very friendly environment. Nothing to trip over.
The main challenge, other than blisters, is mental. Why am I out here? What am I doing this for? Do I really care if I get 50 miles or 100k? Why not stop now?
I signed up for 24 hours because I didn't know what I wanted to do. If I tried for 50 miles, it would take more than 12 hours. I essentially purchased 24 hours of time on a course. I get to do what I want with it.
I've always seen these looped, timed races as self transcendence events. True enough that every one of them has been an experience for me. Usually some type of injury takes me out. I can't predict thats what will happen this time. They give out medals for a marathon so I might stop there. When I make it a long ways, it is usually because I forgot time. I entered a state where I wasn't noticing. I just suddenly look up and see I have 49 laps and wonder how that happened.
Then I prayed to my higher consciousness. And I got a brain storm. What if I planned a mental strategy for each hour? Hey, the 12 Steps! A step for each hour. That would draw me on, give me a goal. Go up to 12 and back down.
My last ultra was in December. I did 45 miles. I want to experience that feeling again.
But to get there, I need to over come mental lethargy. If I sit here in my house right now and think about spending 14 - 15 hours on my feet, it doesn't excite me. Where would the patience come from?
12 hours of time. 12 hours available for God. 12 hours for personal discovery.
I have figured out my shoes, including one pair with no toes for use after the inevitable blisters come (even with taped toes sometimes). I have some protein drinks. I have a head light. I have a chair. I have some vegan burger patties and Ezekiel English muffins for sandwiches.
The weather will be HOT! (Houston is only cold one day a year).
What I don't think I have is patience. So instead, I have 12 Steps. In this way, if I make it past 26 miles, I believe I was enabled by my higher power. It wasn't me. I'm happy to put the credit some where else.
After 50 miles, my body feels horribly bad. But mentally, I am sky high. Can't wait to do it again.